- Alhaji Garus Gololo, the association’s national coordinator, stated that the herdsmen could not fulfill the various responsibilities outlined in the law, within the stipulated time frame
- Gololo further disclosed that if all entreaties to achieve an extension fail, the herdsmen would have no choice but to move out from Benue into other states
The Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN), has appealed to the federal government to urge the Benue state government to extend the timeline for the implementation of the anti-grazing law, reports state.
This comes as the November 1 deadline for the law to take effect, approaches.
Onlinenigeria.com gathers that Alhaji Garus Gololo, the national coordinator of the association, informed journalists that herdsmen would be able to resolve some grey areas in the law, if their request for an extension is granted.
According to Gololo, herdsmen had been saddled with various difficult responsibilities as a result of the law; which are difficult to fulfill within the stipulated time frame.
He said: “For instance, we are expected to ranch our cattle, but a typical ranch involves the construction of schools for the children of the nomads, a veterinary clinic, borehole for its water supply, electricity and adequate space for the cattle to graze within the ranch.
”At the moment, what the government has promised is only the pivot ranches where all arrested cattle would be kept for a time; after which, it would be sold.”
Gololo urged the federal government to act fast to prevent a crisis, as he stressed that it would be in no one’s interest for Fulani’s to leave the state in anger.
He also stated that the government should construct ranches and rent them to herdsmen as he noted that it was difficult to buy land from villagers.
The national coordination further accused Col. Edwin Jando (rtd), the security adviser to the Benue state governor, Samuel Ortom, of masterminding the anti open grazing law as a ploy to evict Fulanis from Benue.
He stated: “We (MACBAN) have no confidence in Col. Jando. He does not want us and our cattle in Benue, and we are leaving. I have written a petition to the governor against Jando.”
Gololo disclosed that if all entreaties to achieve an extension fail, the herdsmen would have no choice but to leave Benue and move to Nasarawa, Taraba and Niger states.
In response to Gololo’s claims however, the governor’s security adviser stated that it was not true that the Fulanis were not wanted in the state, and touted the benefits of the law.
Jando stated: “Apart from providing a permanent solution to incessant clashes between farmers and herders, it protects livestock owners by criminalizing cattle rustling.
“The extensive sensitization and advocacy of this law has made the MACBAN who were initially apprehensive to now support it.
“In view of the above facts, it is not true that Fulanis are not wanted in Benue.”
Recall that Onlinenigeria.com previously reported that Benue state endorsed a law banning open grazing by herdsmen, as a way of tackling the persistent clashes between farmers and herdsmen in the state.
The decision was reached by participants at the public hearings on the anti-grazing bill.
The three public hearings, organised by the Benue House of Assembly, were held simultaneously in the three senatorial districts, to gauge the feeling of the people on the bill.
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